Honoring Deceased Pets


Grief upon the death of a beloved pet often cuts as deeply and, in some cases, even more profoundly as that following the death of a dear family member or friend. We form a strong emotional attachment to our pets during their lifetimes, and when they die, it can be devastating. When our pets pass on, it’s only natural that we express what our beloved companions meant to us and to think of ways of memorializing them. The Humane Society offers some ways of honoring a deceased pet that may not come to mind immediately.

Donate Your Time to a Shelter.

Approximately 6 to 8 million dogs and cats enter animal shelters each year, according to The Humane Society of the United States. Sometimes lost, often abandoned or neglected, these animals stretch the staff and financial resources available to care for them, resulting in the euthanizing of roughly 2.7 million cats and dogs annually. Fortunately, opportunities to help make a difference in the lives of animals abound. Consider donating your time to your local animal shelter in honor of your pet—your time and talents helping to care for these sheltered animals will be greatly appreciated by both the staff and the animals, and it may give you comfort to know you are helping another animal in your pet’s name.

Donate Your Funds

If you don’t have time to volunteer, why not make a charitable donation to a worthwhile cause or group in your beloved pet’s name? As noted above, the pet overpopulation problem stretches the resources available to animal shelters and other animal-welfare organizations pretty thin. Most organizations today accept financial contributions online, either as a one-time donation or recurring, and you can often donate in memory of your dear non-human companion. Some of these organizations are attempting to raise funds to pay for building expansion or relocation, and companies will often sell memorial plaques and/or bricks or paving stones engraved with the name of a loved one in order to solicit donations.

Rescue a Pet

Of the 6 to 8 million dogs and cats that enter U.S. animal shelters each year, roughly half are adopted or “rescued” by new owners. That means approximately 3 to 4 million shelter animals could benefit from the love and attention of a caring owner. If and when you feel up to it, rescuing a dog or cat from one of the 3,500 animal shelters in the United States could prove the single best way for you to honor the memory of your beloved pet.

Source: The Humane Society of the United States http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/pet_overpopulation/facts/pet_ownership_statistics.htm